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What Is the “Marketing Mix?”

Posted By Ewald Consulting, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Your organization just created a ground-breaking new service that has the ability to serve the needs of thousands. After months of development, it is finally ready to be released into the world. This step is crucial and can make or break your service. Marketing acts as the bridge between your service and those who do not know they need it yet. It is the job of the marketing professionals to find out who needs the service and how to get it to them.

One way to think about how to market your product or service is called the marketing mix, which refers to a series of elements surrounding a product/service that inform how you market that product. According to Harvard Business Review, the marketing mix gives executives a simple, yet consistent way to get an overview of the product, its pricing, audience, etc.

While the marketing mix can be adapted to fit the needs of the team using it, it is often referred to as 4 Ps: product, pricing, placement, and promotion, which is a time-tested method for developing a marketing plan. When you take a product or service through these 4 items, it becomes easier to get a broader view of how that product will be marketed.

  1. Product
    1. Start by getting a good idea of what your product/service is. Why did you create it? What problem does it solve? Every product or service has some sort of purpose so make sure that you make it clear what that is.
    2. Dive deeper into the specific features. For example, if it is a virtual course about how to improve emotional intelligence, explain that the course will have short video lectures, followed by a quiz and a Q&A section to encourage users to interact with the platform.
    3. Analyze who will be using it and where. Are your customers going to be busy executives or people who may have more time to devote to interacting with the product/service? Create a profile of your typical user to better understand the environment in which your product/service will be used.
    4. Describe what makes your product/service unique compared to similar ones from your competitors. What sets you apart? Why should someone use your product over theirs?
    5. Overall, this section should be used to describe the purpose and uniqueness of your product/service. This is where you show off how awesome it is.
  2. Pricing
    1. Think about how much your customers will value the product/service. Is this a necessary purchase for them or did they elect to buy it? If it is of less necessity, lower prices may be necessary to incentivize customers.
    2. How does your pricing stack up against similar products or services? Pricing it lower may drive traffic toward you, but if you offer better quality, customers may pay more for your product/service.
    3. Decide if you will offer discount pricing. Will you offer discounts to members of your organization or those who offer their email address? These discounts can be a great way to get eyes on your product/service that might not otherwise be there.
  3. Place
    1. Describe the different ways your product/service will be found. Is it sold directly through your website? Is there content that will lead back to your product/service such as blog posts, free webinars, Facebook Live sessions? You should have a clear answer as to how someone would find your product/service.
    2. Explain where this product/service will “live,” especially if it is virtual. Your product/service should have an online homepage describing its features, pricing, and other relevant details a customer should know.
    3. Where do your competitors keep similar products? Do you think you offer a similar or better method for displaying your product/service?
  4. Promotion
    1. Describe your marketing strategy.
    2. Where will this product/service be marketed? Will you use online ads, use email marketing, or give out postcards at a conference?
    3. Is there a specific timing that would work well with this product/service? For example, a book on how to be a great team member might be better received if released at the beginning of the year when many organizations are gaining new board members.
    4. What are your competitors doing? Is it working?
  5. Add in bonus categories to give an even better picture of elements will go into this product/service.
    1. Audience: give a more in-depth description of who your audience is, what they do and why they need your product/service.
    2. Terms and conditions: explain any items such as recurring payments, any certifications that can be earned via your product/service, etc.
    3. Brand: how does this product/service and its corresponding marketing align with your organization’s brand?

Example: A hypothetical leadership book called Leading for Tomorrow

  • Product: Our product is a 255-page print and electronic book, Leading for Tomorrow. We used our expertise to help inform professionals how to lead in a world of ever-changing technology and a younger workforce. We aim to serve current leaders who may need to adapt some of their leadership practices as well as emerging younger leaders. What makes this book different from other books on leadership is its timeliness and expertise. Our team of authors are all experts in the field.
  • Price: We hope our book will be seen as a must-have. We are selling it for $18.99 in hardback format for 1 year before offering it in paperback for $13.99. It will also be available for download online for $10. These price points are very similar to similar books, but we think that the book’s content will set us apart from others without having to lower our price point. However, during the book’s release, we will be offering our organization’s members a 20% off discount, and a 10% for non-members who subscribe to our emails.
  • Place: The book will be sold on our website as well as Amazon. Following the book release, the authors plan on linking the book in their email signatures. We also plan on linking the book in our blog posts.
  • Promotion: We are going to do a Facebook Live event the day of our release and update the bios of our social media accounts to link to the book. We will also send out emails to our members with their discount and those on our email list with their discount. Prior to the release, we will promote the release date of the book at various points.

Marketing goes beyond sending out a tweet or a mass email. It requires a complete understanding of the product or service at hand. Utilizing the marketing mix will make marketing simpler, more thorough and more streamlined.

Tags:  marketing communications  social media  strategy 

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